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Script Extract

Mordecai, a novelist dealing with a bad review, returns to her family’s Brisbane home for the first time in decades following the death of her father. The home conjures echoes from her distant past: the muggy summers, the smell of rotting mangoes, and the perpetual arguments between her Romani mother and father.

When she discovers her old journal – an innocent tapestry of ideas, drawings, and imaginings – Mordecai is drawn back to 1961 and a long-abandoned investigation into her parent’s unhappiness. Pushed along by her childhood friend Splinter, Mordecai sets out to uncover the long dormant secrets that cursed her family and led to her leaving home at fifteen.

Spanning from young love to aging cynicism, Magpie is a coming-of-age story that will thrill and delight like lemonade ice-blocks and a swim on a hot day.


Ian Lawson – Director and Dramaturg

Elise Greig – Playwright

Josh McIntosh – Designer

David Walters – LX Designer

Guy Webster – Sound Designer

Barb Lowing – Performer

Kathryn Marquet – Performer

Julian Curtis – Performer

Michael Mandalios – Performer

Luisa Prosser – Voice Actor 



EliseGreigHeadshot2019 Elise Greig

Elise has been recognized by the Matilda Awards on four occasions for her outstanding contribution to Queensland Theatre. She is an acting graduate from USQ and an Honours and Masters graduate from QUT, where she was awarded the University Medal. Elise also trained with Shakespeare & Company in Boston, USA, and has received three Goldie Awards for her voice over work.  During 2017 Elise received a CentreScreen Award for her performance in the short film, Good Girls, which was screened at the Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival and New Filmmakers Festival in New York. Her current play, Magpie, has been developed through Playlab's Lab Rats and Beta Testing and was longlisted for the Queensland Premier's Drama Award (QPDA) 2018. 

As an actor, Elise’s theatre credits include Reagan Kelly (Rocket Boy Ensemble), Poison (Metro and EG), Spring Awakening (Metro and Underground Broadway), A Little Night Music (Brisbane Philharmonic), The Story of Brisbane (Playabout and Powerhouse), Swallow (Metro and EG); Spectate (Metro); Long Gone Lonesome Cowgirls (La Boite/QBFM); The Spirit of The Land (La Boite); Secret Bridesmaids’ Business (La Boite/QPAC); The Mayne Inheritance (La Boite); The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay (La Boite); Explosions (QTC); Summer Rain (QTC); Modd Madame Butterfly (QTC); Sweet Phoebe, TwoClark In Sarajevo (La Boite); Alive at Williamstown PierJerusalemOleannaThe Big Picture, The Maids (Green); The Vagina Monologues (Green at Gardens Theatre) and Hopelessly Devoted for Glen Street, Sydney. Elise is currently the voice of Mrs. Kangaroo in Peppa Pig. TV includes: Reef Break (ABC US),Schapelle (Nine Network), Prank Patrol (ABC),East of Everything (ABC),Mortified (Australian Children's Television Foundation),The Narcissist (ABC Pilot), Home and Away and All Saints (Seven Network),Flipper, Fire 1, Fire 2 and Medivac. Filmes include:Quaddam’s Story (PFTC), The People (PFTC), Storage, The Underdog’s Tale (Puck Films),Top Blokes (Shortcut Film Festival Finalist/Qantas Comedy Channel)Love Weights (SBS), On The Level (PFTC), Sun Kisses (PFTC), Mobile Love (PFTC) and has featured in over 30 TV commercials, including Napisan, QTMB, Suncorp, Westpac and RACQ.

As a playwright, Elise was supported by Arts Queensland and The Australia Council to develop her first play, The Romany Project, as part of Metro’s Year of Independents. This was followed by Elise’s first full-length play, Crèche and Burn, which was a box office and critical success as part of La Boite’s 2005 mainhouse season and received a 10-week national tour. Her next play, The Sweet Science of Bruising, was shortlisted for the 2010 Playwriting Australia Festival. This was followed by Hopelessly Devoted (Glen Street, Sydney), Flood (Short+Sweet) and All Aboard!, co-written for Bleach* 2016.


Magpie is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Playlab, Metro Arts and Magpie are supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Environment and Science. Magpie is supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through MATCH Lab. Developed by Playlab through our Alpha Processing and Beta Testing programs.


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Playlab is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland     



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